Heralded Danish southpaw Patrick Nielsen quietens Gaston Vega’s bluster, wins 10th round KO

21 Apr

Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen

Acclaimed Scandinavian prospect Patrick Nielsen, a 21-year-old from Copenhagen who measures up as a 6-foot middleweight with a 73 inch reach, triumphed – as expected – over Gaston Vega at the Arena Nord in Frederikshavn, Denmark on Saturday, April 21. However, Nielsen’s tenth round knockout win over the awkward aggressive Vega was not without censure as both fighters engaged in an ugly affair, trading butts, slips and knockdowns.

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Kirsch’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
10 8 9 9 9 9 8 9 9 8

10 9 10
10 10 10 10 10 10 10

Official verdict: Nielsen by way of tenth round KO.

The reception of the night was reserved for the penultimate bout on the card as local hero Patrick Nielsen, the 2011 Danish boxer of the year, took on brash Argentinean Gaston Vega. It was the visiting prizefighter who had added even more intrigue to the match-up as he angered Nielsen considerably by attending pre-fight conferences dressed in football jersey’s from his homeland with the number 11 and The Nielsen Slayer emblazoned on the back… the implication being that the Dane would drop for good in the second to last stanza. The bad blood was evident from the dispatchment of the first shots as both pugilists swung with bad intentions and, the leverage was so mighty, that Nielsen and Vega ended up on the deck. Not because of knockdowns, though, no… because of getting caught off-balance and slipping on the canvas.

Occupying the centre of the ring and boxing with more focus, Nielsen – hoping to make a statement in front of his own fans – was more confident and comfortable in round two but had to eat a stiff shot from a Vega proving to possess moments of threatening behaviour. After the bell, Nielsen continued to throw punches and Vega dropped, theatrically, perhaps looking for a DQ finish. That did not arrive, but the referee deducted a point from both fighters’ tallies. Vega not only had to deal with the sanction, but he was also bleeding – profusely – behind the ear in what was a blind spot to his corner as there was no medical attention paid to the laceration.

The motif of a messy, slippy fight continued into the third as the combatants exchanged slips and headbutts. When actual boxing was underway, Nielsen’s style was the purer. He had greater precision, power and his check hook gave Vega something to think about. Vega’s attempts to turn the bout into a barnburner in round four were negated by Nielsen’s forceful punches. Vega may have been the aggressor, but he was crude compared to the more complete nature of Nielsen’s approach. He’d stick a two punch move and retreat to the outside, smell blood and return to the pocket to unleash a battering combination but such was his eagerness to land from close range, a further clash of heads occurred.

Frustrated by Vega in the fifth, Nielsen began wrestling the rugged 28-year-old, forcing a warning from the third man in the ring. Nielsen further exposed Vega’s one dimensional fighting style as he successfully outboxed him for large portions of the sixth. With his left cheek considerably swelling, Vega appeared beaten by the beginning of play in the seventh and, after a solitary minute, suffered a flash knockdown due to a crouching tiger hidden uppercut. For the remainder of the stanza, Nielsen did a good job in making Vega miss while staggering him onto the ropes with deflating jabs and crushing left hands.

With a mouse under each eye and his assistant second working feverishly over his swellings with the enswell, Vega had no respite in the eighth round as Nielsen pierced Vega’s shield with head-bound shots. In the ninth, Nielsen had his man on the deck for the second time in the fight as the South American slumped to the floor in an almost delayed reaction. He took the knee until the eight count but with typical Latino fire, Vega fought with brutish machismo and, astonishingly, rocked and knocked Nielsen down, evening the score for the round. Nielsen finished the round in the finer fashion as he almost turned his opponent’s lights off with a chin-bound left hook.

Nielsen got his knockout win in the tenth round, flooring Vega with a big left hand to the temple that was set up with a straight right shot to the chin. The two-punch move kept the defeated on the deck for over a minute and when Vega got to his feet, he was in tears.

Nielsen, conversely, was delighted with the triumph, moved to 14-0-0, 8ko as a result and received the vacant WBA Intercontinental title at 160lbs to add to the IBF youth belt he was rewarded with last year.

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